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FASRC Guidelines for OpenAI Key and Harvard Agreement

FASRC allows the use of OpenAI on the Cannon cluster. Our users are free to install the tool locally under their profile on the cluster and provide it with data. However, we are asking our users to be aware of the initial guidelines that the University has put forward for the use of such tools at Harvard.

OpenAI on the cluster

Following is a set of guidelines that we have put together for interested parties to ensure safe usage of OpenAI tools on the cluster and the data that is provided to them. 

There are two ways to get started on the process of getting your OpenAI account attached with Harvard’s enterprise agreement. 

Option 1 (needs a credit card) – Best executed by the PI

  1. Create a lab/PI/school-based OpenAI account using an email address and password of your choosing that can be easily distributed to other members of the group.
  2. This will generate an OpenAI API key that would need to be stored safely. The key will be required by other members of the account to install and use OpenAI on the cluster.
  3. After creating the account, go to your profile and click on Settings.
  4. Look for Organization ID on that page.
  5. Copy that ID and send an email using the template below to or to get this associated with the enterprise agreement that Harvard has with OpenAI. It could take up to a week for the association to take place. 
  6. This would ensure that whatever data is provided to OpenAI stays within that agreement and is not made public by the company.
  7. Attach a credit card with this account that will be used for billing. This could be the PI or division’s C-card. 
  8. Once the newly created OpenAI account has been associated with Harvard’s agreement and a credit card has been attached to it, the PI or the manager of this OpenAI account can now add members/students by going to the Settings page and inviting new members to the group.
  9. The OpenAI API key will also have to be shared with new members.
  10. At the point, any member of that account is now ready to install OpenAI on the cluster using the instructions on   
  11. The member will also need to be made aware of the data classification level that is attached to a certain GAI tool and its subsequent use on the cluster. 

Note: FASRC has tested using the OpenAI key for installing and using the corresponding software with Option# 1.

Email Template

Subject: Request to Associate OpenAI Organization ID with Harvard Enterprise Agreement

Dear HUIT GenAI Support Team,

I am requesting assistance in associating my OpenAI Organization ID with Harvard University’s Enterprise Agreement (EA) with OpenAI. 

As a Harvard affiliate, I want to utilize the OpenAI APIs, which offer increased API rate limits and the ability to use level 3 data, under the terms of the EA established by Harvard.

Organization ID:

  • My Organization ID is [Your Organization ID Here]. You can find this ID in the OpenAI API portal under Settings -> Organization (

I understand that once my Organization ID is submitted, the association with the Enterprise Agreement could take up to a week to be confirmed by OpenAI. Additionally, I acknowledge that API-related billing will be charged to the credit card on record with my OpenAI account, as OpenAI does not support PO/invoice billing.



Option 2 (HUIT recommended – needs 33-digit billing code) – Best executed by the PI

Individual Account:

  1. Go to Harvard’s API portal.
  2. Click on either of the two options: 
    1. AI Services – OpenAI Direct API
    2. Or AI Services – OpenAI via Azure
  3. Follow the instructions given on the corresponding page. 
  4. For example, for either of the options, one will have to fill out the HUIT billing form for new customers located on HarvardKey – Harvard University Authentication Service to obtain a customer account number followed by registering the app using the API portal’s Guides – Register an App | prod-common-portal
  5. Once the app is registered, you should be able to receive the corresponding API key (not the OpenAI key) from HUIT. 
  6. The API key is already associated with the enterprise agreement that Harvard has with OpenAI, so need to get that associated by sending HUIT an email as mentioned in Option# 1.
  7. Use this API key to install OpenAI on the cluster using the instructions on 

Team Account:

This feature on the API portal allows developer teams to “own” an API consumer app, instead of individuals. See Guides – Create a Team | prod-common-portal

Following are the steps a PI can take to create a team and add members to it so that they can access the API key associated with the “team” account. The owner can manage the team (add new people as time goes on, or remove them).  Each member of the team can log into the portal to access the API key for their app. 

Please be sure to enter the email addresses carefully in the team setup, and they should be the email addresses associated with their HarvardKey.

  1. Create the team and list each developer.
  2. Register the app and select the desired team as the app owner.
  3. In the app registration, select the APIs you want access to.

Note: FASRC has not verified the use of API key for installing the OpenAI software on the cluster with Option# 2.

Reminder: All our users are allowed to work with data classified as Level 2 on Cannon and Level 3 on FASSE. The member will also need to be made aware of the data classification level that is attached to a certain GAI tool and its subsequent use on the cluster. The university has guidelines on what sort of data can and cannot be exposed to third party systems. Please see: Guidelines for Using ChatGPT and other Generative AI tools at Harvard.


  1. AI @ The FAS 
  2. Generative AI @ Harvard 
  3. Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) Guidelines | Harvard University Information Technology  
  4. Comparison of Generative AI Tools at Harvard
  5. HUIT AI Services – OpenAI Direct API
  6. Guides – Create a Team | prod-common-portal
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